21st Century Public Spaces
The impacts of climate change have been evident in different cities and ecosystems all over the world during the last decades. In the case of urban settlements, many cities are under specific and sometimes uncertain impacts of climate change, making their populations vulnerable to human and economic losses. At the same time, the rapid growth of urban population without planning, demanding more infrastructure, services, and built environment puts a lot of pressure on the ecosystem, contributes to the causes of climate change, and exposes people to risks and losses.
To avoid ecological impacts and economical and social losses it is important to include strategies for the mitigation and adaptation to climate change in the development of plans of our cities to make them more resilient. However, challenges such as financial priorities, political issues, uncertainties about the risks, or personal interests could make the adaptation investment a difficult task. According to Cities and Climate Change, although urban infrastructure is a priority, a lot of cities are struggling to meet the basic needs and the growing demands of their populations, leaving limited resources to allocate to Climate Change Adaptation. Adaptation measures usually require big investments of time and resources, and need to be anticipated in order to be effective, requiring investments today that will deliver benefits in the future, based only on actual projections or uncertain predictions, running the risk of investing limited resources in an unnecessary infrastructure or creating a false sense of safety on the population if the projections are exceeded.
As part of the search for strategies to make cities more resilient, policymakers, developers, and planners have put their effort in the development of new policies for city growth, land uses, transportation, energy production and efficiency, water consumption, etc. A part of the effort has been focused on the design of urban public spaces with multiple functions: social, economic, health, energy production, adaptation, etc. showing the huge potential that these spaces have to help our cities mitigate some causes and adapt to the consequences of climate change while saving time and money.
That is why I would like to focused this poster in the study of the potential that the planning and design of public spaces today have to link urban development, adaptation, and resilience and how to maximize this potential to provide innovative and comprehensive solutions to the new challenges our cities are confronting in terms of growth, health, economics, environment, and resilience.
Confirmed SpeakerDulce Naime is a Venezuelan-American architect holding Graduate Certificates in Tools for Landscape Design, Design and Management of the City, and Leadership. After more than 5 years of experience working in both the public and private sectors of Caracas, Venezuela in the field of urban planning and design, Dulce decided to continue her education at The George Washington University. She is currently a candidate for a Master’s Degree in Sustainable Urban Planning as well as a Graduate Certificate in Climate Change Management and Policy with an anticipated graduation date of December 2016. Throughout the course of her studies, Dulce has been involved in various internships and extracurricular activities at the University. She held an internship at Casey Trees, a non-profit organization working to restore the tree canopy of Washington, D.C. as well as internship the District of Columbia Office of Planning, where she worked on the development of new strategies for the community engagement in planning processes and for the design and management strategy for small parks and open spaces. Additionally, Ms. Naime serves as the Vice President and Event Chair of the Sustainable Urban Planning Student Organization (SUPSO) and Deputy Student Representative at the National Capital Area Chapter of the American Planning Association Board. Currently, she is working as a research assistant for the Sustainable Urban Planning Program at the George Washington University, developing an executive training course on 21st Century Development Planning for the Department of Energy, and as a Consultant for the IDB, working in the organization of a conference in Jamaica related to climate finance. In 2017, she will, for the third time, be involved in the organization of the Annual World Bank Conference on Land and Poverty with a multi-disciplinary team of GW students.